patternmaking for fashion design!
I made myself this dress by cutting into folded fabric using basic patternmaking techniques..... so in a way, you don't always need a pattern once you learn some of these skills!

Patternmaking Basics: How to add simple Flares to the Basic Skirt Sloper

Let’s dip our toes into the world of fashion patternmaking for design by adding flares to a straight skirt!!!

What are Flares? What is an A-line skirt vs. a pencil, pegged, gathered, dirndl or pleated skirt? (these are all typical patternmaking vocabulary)

What reference books are good to have?

How do we customize a pattern, how do we create a pattern so we can recreate a garment again and again?

WHY do we do that, and what markings and symbols make pattern pieces fit together to make a fashion garment?

What is the language of fashion trechnical design?

What are the workroom tools and the simple basic processes we need to create fashion patterns for sewing, how do we label our patterns and what are the conventions of the patternmaking systems?

What is a “sloper”?

(hint: it’s a basic pattern for example a straight skirt in today’s example– that fits but has no seam allowance or details on it at all so that it can be used as a foundation to create new designs from the basic).

How can we tweak slopers, patterns or garments we already own, and how can we make changes to them to customize and/ or to create???

How do we create facings?  What ARE facings? What are some ways we can use them?

How do we add seam allowances and hem allowances?

How do sewing and patternmaking and draping interrelate, and how are they different?

My biggest piece of advice to someone starting to learn patternmaking is to also be sewing.  Why? Because every decision you make on a pattern is related to exactly how you are going to decide to sew it.

So many years teaching patternmaking and draping /sewing at Parsons School of Design, it has always been more of a challenge to explain the more detailed points of  to someone who has never sewn. 

it’s so much easier to understand and learn if you’ve had even basic introductions to sewing patterns at home. I recommend buying a basic skirt and classic shirt or basic bodice shell to practice at least before you start.

BUT ITS ALL figure-out-able in Patternmaking..

MY FAVORITE thing about teaching Fashion Art and Design skills is that I take the fear out of the process and constantly remind you that you CAN do this just like anyone else.

I encourage you to take a fun, personal, and creative approach to your fashion design technical exploration while getting a solid foundation.

“WHAT ARE they and what other terms to I need to know if I want to talk about fashion design with other people in the industry??”


I hope today’s patternmaking video

opens a whole new world for you, like it did for me when I first started learning these fashion design techniques and tools.

When I learned Patternmaking and Draping. I literally stopped buying patterns forever.

Today we’ll go RIGHT IN. You’ll get to hear the terms we use like dart, side seam, hemline and waistline.

We’ll use special rulers and pencils in a particular way and explain why, so that your patterns are accurate and functional.

We’ll also use C-thru rulers and 1/4 scale sloper patterns so that we can practice the patternmaking techniques on a desktop and learn the techniques right away before we go full-size.


So Let’s get fashion-nerdy together :


Right, friends?

Love ,, Laura

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